Wednesday, July 22, 2015

College FB '14 House Calls

Listen to this: .......

Ah yes, that little tune, played by the Wisconsin band whenever the Badgers score a touchdown, is always music to my ears - but especially so during the 2014 season, because more often than not it meant that a player with dreads scored the touchdown. Far more often than not that player was junior RB Melvin Gordon; but Gordon was not the only Badger player with dreads to take one to the house. And it was those small but valuable contributions by his teammates that lifted Wisconsin to the team crown for the most TD by players with dreads this season. 

Gordon and Boise State junior RB Jay Ajayi finished in a dead heat for the individual crown with 32 TD each. That number not only led all of Division 1 this season but also is a new record for the most TD ever scored in a season by any D-1 player with dreads (surpassing the 30 scored by Ricky Williams for Texas in 1998).
But whereas Ajayi had no supporting cast, three Badgers with dreads besides Gordon had one touchdown each, giving UW a 35-32 edge over Boise State for the crown. A trio of stars with dreads for Coastal Carolina combined for 30 TD even to make it a total of three Division 1 teams with 30 or more TD by players with dreads in 2014.

When Gordon scored on a 14-yard run in the 2nd quarter of the season opener against LSU (photo above), I figured it would be his first of many TD; but not even I dreamed he would take so many more to the house. But with his sidekick, Corey Clement, slowed by an injury late in the season, and with the Badgers having a slightly less than explosive passing game all season, Gordon got more carries than expected - 343 in all (25 per game) - and made the most of them.

With 35 of their 61 TD (57.4%) - the 19th of the 35 punctuated by Gordon's leap into the end zone (photos above) for a 13-yard score against Rutgers in Week 10 - scored by players with dreads, Wisconsin was the only D-1 team to have more than half of their touchdowns by players with dreads - except for one other. Savannah State scored a meager total of 19 TD during their 0-12 season, and 10 of them were by players with dreads. There were 10 other teams besides Wisconsin to have at least 4 different players with dreads score; and one of those had 5 players score, as Clemson's total of 11 TD by players with dreads were accounted for by 5 different players.

In the previous 3 years I have done a house calls post a team from the state of Alabama has taken the crown. But this season the most anybody from Alabama had were the 19 TD by Alabama State. The Hornets are one of 36 teams (two more than in 2013) to make the list of teams with at least 10 TD scored by players with dreads. Agonizingly close but falling one short of the list were 8 teams with 9 TD. Here now are the 36 teams.

  • WISCONSIN - RB Melvin Gordon 32, WR Kenzel Doe 1, RB Dare Ogunbowale 1, WR Robert Wheelwright 1
  •  BOISE STATE - RB Jay Ajayi 32
  • COASTAL CAROLINA - RB De'Angelo Henderson 21, WR John Israel 6, WR Devin Brown
  • UNC-CHARLOTTE - RB Kalif Phillips 20, RB Maetron Thomas 4
  • STEPHEN F. AUSTIN - RB Gus Johnson 23
  • ARKANSAS - RB Alex Collins 12, WR Keon Hatcher 7, DT Darius Philon 1

One week after his high step into the end zone against Rutgers, Melvin Gordon goes even higher (on left) as he hurdles Purdue CB Leroy Clark to finish off a 27-yard TD reception. Gordon had 3 TD catches on the season, and the last of those was a big 4-yarder (on right) that cut Minnesota's lead to 17-10 in the 2nd quarter during Week 14.

Melvin Gordon, who backed out of a verbal commitment to Iowa before signing with Wisconsin, did not have a good game during the Badgers' trip to Iowa City in 2013, and Hawkeyes fans let him know about it. But thanks to an oddity in the schedule the Badgers were at Iowa again in 2014, and Gordon silenced the crowd with one of his best games of the season, finishing with 200 yards rushing on 31 carries, a career high 64 yards receiving on 4 catches, and 2 TD - a 6-yard run (on right) late in the 2nd quarter and a 23-yard run (on left) for a 26-17 lead midway through the 4th. UW held on for a key 26-24 win in Week 13, eliminating Iowa from the Big 10 West race. Here are the 2 TD along with the rest of the UW highlights in the game:

While Melvin Gordon may have done the heavy lifting, the Badgers wouldn't have taken the team crown without help from his supporting cast. Senior WR Kenzel Doe scores his only TD of the season on 19-yard reception (on left) during 4th quarter of a 20-14 loss to Northwestern in Week 6. Thanks to a lack of depth, sophomore Dare Ogunbowale was moved to RB early in the season, and the UW coaching staff discovered he's a better RB than DB. Ogunbowale breaks a tackle by LB Courtney Love (on right) en route to his 1st career TD, an 8-yard run to put the icing on the cake during 4th quarter of a 59-24 romp over Nebraska in Week 12.

Of all the Badgers' touchdowns this season, the one that made me the happiest was probably this one by sophomore WR Robert Wheelwright in Week 14 (both photos). The 17-yard catch for his 1st career TD - on his 1st (and only) catch of the season - was a big one, extending the Badgers' lead to 34-24 with 4:41 remaining in their Big 10 West clinching win over Minnesota. Wheelwright has a not so grand total of 3 receptions in his first two seasons, but he'll have every opportunity to be in the starting lineup in 2015. It's up to him.

There's no point in posting photos of any of De'Angelo Henderson's 21 TD - his dreads are too short to be seen. So here's one of the other 9 Coastal Carolina TD by players with dreads, a 10-yard run by WR Devin Brown early in 2nd quarter for a 21-0 lead during a 59-34 win at UNC-Charlotte in Week 11. Brown's other 2 TD came on kickoff returns. With Brown (who is from the same high school as Roddy White) and Henderson (both sophomores) and John Israel (junior) back next season, the Chanticleers should be a serious contender for the crown in 2015.

Sophomore RB Kalif Phillips scores one of his three 1st half TD in UNC-Charlotte's 56-0 rout of Johnson C. Smith in the 49ers' home opener in Week 2. Phillips, who has scored 33 TD in his first 2 seasons, will be looking for another sidekick again next season. After Alan Barnwell (5 TD in 2013) was dismissed from the team following last season, Maetron Thomas (4 TD in the first 7 games) was kicked off the team before the 2014 season ended.

Of all the teams with at least 10 TD scored by players with dreads, the duo with the sickest dreads were sophomore RB Alex Collins and junior WR Keon Hatcher of Arkansas, who combined for 19 TD this season after totaling only 6 between them in 2013. Hatcher, hanging on for an 8-yard TD reception in a 45-32 home loss to Georgia in Week 8 in photo above, and Collins, scoring the Razorbacks' final TD of the night on a 5-yard run in a 17-0 Week 12 home win over LSU (photo on right), will be looking to land spots on my 2015 all-America with dreads team after barely missing this season. 

  • ALABAMA STATE - RB Malcolm Cyrus 13, RB Khalid Thomas 5, S Najee Bright 1
  • CINCINNATI - RB Mike Boone 9, WR Chris Moore 8, RB Tion Green 1, DE Terrell Hartsfield 1
  • COLORADO STATE - RB Dee Hart 18
  • GEORGIA - RB Todd Gurley 10, WR Chris Conley 8
  • MURRAY STATE - WR Janawski Davis 15, WR DeQavius Walker 3
  • TEXAS A&M - WR Malcome Kennedy 6, WR Speedy Noil 5, RB James White 3, RB Brandon Williams 3
  • BETHUNE-COOKMAN - RB Anthony Jordan 12, QB Larry Brihm 4
  • NOTRE DAME - WR Will Fuller 15, WR Chris Brown 1
  • SAM HOUSTON STATE - RB Donovan Williams 9, RB Jalen Overstreet 7
  • WOFFORD - RB Lorenzo Long 15

Freshman Mike Boone scores Cincinnati's final TD of the game (left photo) - and the 1st of his career - on a 1-yard run on the first play of the 4th quarter in a 41-3 road win over SMU in Week 8. Boone scored all 9 of his TD in the Bearcats' final 8 games of the season. Junior Chris Moore makes another long-distance house call, scoring on a 66-yard reception (right photo) against East Carolina during Week 12. Moore's 8 TD came on receptions of 8, 12, 60, 83, 78. 66, 31, and 43 yards - an average of 47 yards per TD.

Senior Malcolm Cyrus crawls on the back of S Mark Pegues as he scores on an 8-yard run during Alabama State's 47-22 win over Mississippi Valley State in Week 3. After serving as Isaiah Crowell's understudy for two seasons, Cyrus moved into the starting lineup in 2014 and had a tremendous season, rushing for 1,662 yards (43 short of the ASU single season record) and finishing with over 2,000 total yards. Unfortunately NFL teams haven't been as enthusiastic to sign him as they were Crowell. "Just give me a shot," says Malcolm:

Junior Dee Hart lifts off at the 3-yard line and flies into the end zone to finish off a 20-yard catch and run for his 16th TD of the season - and his 4th of the 2nd quarter - during Week 13 against New Mexico. Hart accounted for all of Colorado State's TD by players with dreads this season by himself, scoring 18, which was 17 more than he had in the 17 games he played for Alabama in 2012 and 2013 before transferring to CSU.

Senior Chris Conley stretches out and makes a highlight reel catch for a 23-yard TD, increasing Georgia's lead to 38-0 over Charleston Southern during 2nd quarter in Week 13. Conley did his part to make Georgia a contender for the team crown, scoring a career high 8 TD in 2014; but he didn't get the help from his teammates that was expected.

  • HOUSTON - RB Ryan Jackson 7, WR Deontay Greenberry 6, S Trevon Stewart 1
  • IOWA STATE - TE E.J. Bibbs 8, WR D'Vario Montgomery 2, RB DeVondrick Nealy 2, WR Jarvis West 2
  • LAMAR - WR Mark Roberts 13, S Ronald Barrett 1
  • ALABAMA - RB Derrick Henry 13
  • BOWLING GREEN - RB Travis Greene 13
  • FAU - WR Lucky Whitehead 8, RB Greg Howell 2, WR Kalib Woods 2, CB Cre'von LeBlanc 1
  • MEMPHIS - RB Jarvis Cooper 4, RB Doroland Dorceus 4, WR Keiwone Malone 4, CB Dontrell Nelson 1
  • WESTERN CAROLINA - WR Spearman Robinson 11, CB Jaleel Lorquet 1, WR Terryon Robinson 1
  • TENNESSEE TECH - RB Ladarius Vanlier 8, RB Willie Davis 3, DE Jordan Patrick 1
  • TOWSON - RB Darius Victor 12
  • VIRGINIA TECH - TE Bucky Hodges 8, RB Marshawn Williams

Senior Jarvis West scored the first two of Iowa State's 14 TD by players with dreads - and his only 2 of the season - in a span of 2:36 during the 1st half in Week 2 against Kansas State. After scoring on a 17-yard reception late in the 1st quarter, West here returns the punt on K-State's ensuing possession 82 yards to the house for a 14-13 ISU lead early in the 2nd. The Cyclones extended the lead to 28-13 before halftime but couldn't hold on, losing 32-28.

250-pound freshman Jarvis Cooper contributed 4 TD to Memphis' total of 13 TD by players with dreads, two of which came in Week 9 at SMU, including this 7-yard run midway through the 3rd quarter of a 48-10 win. With Cooper and sophomore Doroland Dorceus, who scored 4 TD in the first 3 games of the season before missing the rest of the season due to injury - he was granted a redshirt, both back, I'm not hoping, I'm expecting the Tigers to be on the house calls list again next season.

FAU is on the list for the 3rd straight year, but with only 13 TD this season (after 16 and 18 the last two) after William Dukes and Alex DeLeon cut off their dreads after last season. 4 of the 13 came in the Owls' 45-38 victory over Western Kentucky in Week 8, including these two - freshman Kalib Woods' 11-yard reception (on left) for his 1st career TD, cutting WKU's lead to 14-7; and senior Lucky Whitehead's 20-yard score on a WR screen (on right), bringing the Owls to within 31-21 in the 3rd quarter. Later, with 1:23 remaining in the game, Whitehead scored the game winner on a 61-yard catch and (mostly) run.

Senior Mark Roberts makes the catch at the 1 and takes it in for a 26-yard TD, upping Lamar's lead over Houston Baptist to 62-7 in Week 10 and capping one of the best 1st halves of a game a WR could ever dream of. He finished the half (and the game, as he did not play at all in the 2nd half) with 5 catches for 205 yards and 4 TD. His 13 TD catches in 2014 upped his career total to 21 (in two seasons, after transferring from Houston), and those 21 will stand as the school record until someone breaks it.

After surviving a pair of wicked hits by BYU S Craig Bills (#20) earlier in the game - both of which would have been penalties in the NFL and both of which were intended to knock him out of the game), junior Deontay Greenberry gets a small measure of payback, getting behind Bills for a 7-yard reception in the back of the end zone for his 1st TD of the season. It was the first of 2 TD for Greenberry in the game, but Houston lost 33-25 at BYU in Week 3. If all goes the way he hopes, Deontay will be making his house calls in a Dallas Cowboys uniform next season.

  • CLEMSON - WR Mike Williams 6, RB Tyshon Dye 2, DE Tavaris Barnes 1, DE Vic Beasley 1, TE Jay Jay McCullough 1
  • MISSISSIPPI STATE - WR De'Runnya Wilson 9, RB Ashton Shumpert 2
  • TEXAS TECH - WR Bradley Marquez 10, WR D.J. Polite-Bray 1
  • UCLA - RB Paul Perkins 11
  • EAST CAROLINA - RB Breon Allen 9, WR Brandon Bishop 1
  • FLORIDA STATE - RB Dalvin Cook 8, WR Ermon Lane 1, LB Terrance Smith 1
  • SAVANNAH STATE - WR Cantrell Frazier 4, RB Richard Williams 4, RB Nicholas Bentley 2
  • UTAH - WR Kaelin Clay 8, QB Brandon Cox 1, WR Andre Lewis 1
  • WEST VIRGINIA - WR Kevin White 10

With both Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins now in the NFL, Clemson really struggled to make the list this season. But make it they did, even if it took 5 players to do it. Star senior DE Vic Beasley recorded a rare '4-S' play against North Carolina State in Week 6 - the best a D-lineman can do on one play - getting the sack, strip, scoop, and score all by himself, the score coming on a 16-yard return (right photo) for the final points of the Tigers' 41-0 victory. After back surgery forced him to redshirt in 2013 and a torn Achilles caused him to miss the first 2 months of this season, Tyshon Dye finally got on the field, appearing in 4 games and rushing for 151 yards on 32 carries. His 1st career TD came on a 3-yard run (left photo) in Week 13 during the 1st quarter of a 28-0 win over Georgia State. Dye was a 4-star recruit coming out of HS; so if he's truly back to 100%, well, Clemson might be back up in the 20+ range in TD by players with dreads again by next season.

Thanks to - and entirely to - sophomore Paul Perkins, UCLA is on my house calls list for the first time. Perkins rushed for 1,575 yards during his sensational 2014 season and scored 11 TD, the 8th of those coming on this 5-yard run during the 3rd quarter in Week 10, putting the Bruins ahead to stay in their 17-7 win over Arizona.

A couple of sophomores accounted for all of Mississippi State's 11 TD by players with dreads. De'Runnya Wilson scores the Bulldogs' 1st TD of the season on their first drive of the season, breaking a tackle by Southern Miss S Jacorius Cotton (#28) at the 2-yard line and spinning into the end zone for a 25-yard score (left photo) in Week 1. Dread all-American Ashton Shumpert scores the last of his 2 TD this season (right photo), going in standing up for a 3-yard score vs. Vanderbilt in Week 13. With Wilson and Shumpert (and star QB Dak Prescott) back, the Bulldogs could be a darkhouse contender for the crown next season - it all depends on if Shumpert can get into the starting lineup.

For the 2nd straight season the only game in which Kevin White made 2 TD catches was the one against Baylor. But the two he had in last season's 73-42 loss at Baylor didn't quite have the same impact as the two in Week 8 this season. On the left White makes a 36-yard TD catch against the coverage of CB Xavien Howard to tie the game at 7 in the 1st quarter. And on the right White beats Howard again and make a spectacular one-handed catch for a 12-yard TD, breaking a 27-27 tie with 11:36 remaining in the game. West Virginia went on to win 41-27, dealing Baylor their only loss of the regular season. White had 8 catches for 132 yards in the game, making it 7 straight games at the start of the season with 100+ yards. Hopefully Kevin will be doing some more of that in a Chicago Bears uniform in the seasons ahead.

CB Terell Floyd of Louisville arrives too late to prevent freshman Ermon Lane from falling forward and into the end zone for a 47-yard catch and run for a TD, giving Florida State, which had trailed 21-0, their first lead of the game at 28-24 early in the 4th quarter in Week 10. FSU went on to win 42-31. It was the only TD of the season for Lane, who unfortunately has that Preston Parker look going with his dreads (I say unfortunately, but Ermon thinks they look great, and that's all that matters.). If Dalvin Cook can get his act together off the field (a big if), he and Lane, who figures to play much more next season, can make the Seminoles contenders for the crown in the next couple of seasons.

Senior Kaelin Clay did a lot of great things in his only season in a Utah uniform, but this ain't one of them. As every Utah fan knows, the Utes' total of 10 TD by players with dreads should have been 11; but it wasn't because Clay, cruising toward the end zone for an easy would-be 79-yard TD reception on the first play of the 2nd quarter against Oregon in Week 11, let go of the ball before crossing the goal line. Even better, while Clay was celebrating with his teammates thinking he had scored, a player for Oregon picked up the ball and ran it 100 yards the other way for a TD. So instead of the Utes taking a 14-0 lead, the game was tied 7-7 - a critical change in the momentum. Oregon went on to win 51-27. Now I'm willing to forgive some mistakes, but this one was so egregious and idiotic that I couldn't include Kaelin on the dread stars list even though he finished the game with 331 all purpose yards. Other than this play, Clay had a terrific season, good enough to get him selected in the NFL Draft.

Stuck on 8 TD by players with dreads for 5 straight weeks, Texas Tech's first appearance on the house calls list was in jeopardy with just 1 game left on the schedule; but senior Bradley Marquez came to the rescue with 3 TD catches against Baylor in Week 14, the last of which was this 40-yarder on which he maintained possession when he hit the ground, cutting Baylor's lead to 48-46 with 1:42 remaining in the game. The 2-point conversion attempt failed after this TD, and Baylor held on for the win. The 3 touchdowns also moved Marquez into double figures in individual TD for the season for the first time. Hopefully - if he's good enough - we'll be seeing Bradley's sick dreads in a St. Louis Rams uniform this fall.


All aboard the Jay Train, that is ...... Jay Ajayi got to have his cake and eat it too during the 2014 season. Not only did the Boise State junior RB tie for the Division 1 lead in touchdowns, he was allowed to do his favorite celebration after every one of them - without getting penalized for it. How can this be, you ask? I was wondering that myself because, as we all know, per the NCAA Football rulebook, doing anything to draw attention to yourself after scoring a TD is strictly prohibited. Well, maybe not so much strictly anymore. It seems officials (thankfully) have gotten a little more lenient in the last couple of seasons. It's OK to celebrate a little; just don't get carried away with it. Apparently Ajayi's trademark arm pump after his touchdowns (photo on right, after scoring Boise State's 1st TD of the game against Fresno State in Week 8) was deemed understated enough that is was not necessary for any penalty flags to be thrown.

And what about that arm pump? All throughout 2013 I had no clue what is was for. But finally early this season, in this article/video from the Idaho Statesman, Jay explained that when he pumps his arm, he's actually mimicking sounding a train whistle. The train being him - the Jay Train:

Yes, it's silly. Of course it's silly. All celebrations are silly. But hey, it's entertainment. And as long as your celebration doesn't taunt or demean your opponents, I'm all for it. Football just wouldn't be any fun if you can't celebrate success.
Anyway, among the Jay Train's 32 house calls were a 21-yard catch and run (left photo) for his 3rd TD of the 1st half vs. Colorado State in Week 2 and a 9-yard run against Utah State (right photo) during the 1st quarter in Week 14 - the first of 5 TD he scored in the Broncos' big 50-19 win.

Ajayi, who was kept out of the end zone only by Connecticut and Air Force, and Melvin Gordon, who scored in all of Wisconsin's games except that disaster against Ohio State, are at the top of the list of the 21 players with dreads (4 fewer than last season's 25) who scored 10 or more TD in 2014. Here are all 21.

Boise State RB Jay Ajayi 32
Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon 32

Stephen F. Austin RB Gus Johnson 23
I do have clearer photos of Gus Johnson than this one, but not any of him scoring a TD. Johnson's 23 TD, including this 15-yard run against Weber State in Week 4, were a new Stephen F. Austin record. He set several other school records during his tremendous senior season, which you can read about in this release from the SFA website: 

Coastal Carolina RB De'Angelo Henderson 21 

UNC-Charlotte RB Kalif Phillips 20

Colorado State RB Dee Hart 18
Dee Hart finishes off a 55-yard run for his 6th TD of the day - and the last of his 18 TD for the season - during the 3rd quarter of a 58-20 win over New Mexico in Week 13. Thanks to Dee, this was the game with the most TD by players with dreads in 2014.

Murray State WR Janawski Davis 15
Notre Dame WR Will Fuller 15
Wofford RB Lorenzo Long 15

Alabama State RB Malcolm Cyrus 13
Bowling Green RB Travis Greene 13
Alabama RB Derrick Henry 13
Lamar WR Mark Roberts 13

Sophomore Derrick Henry dives into the end zone to finish off a 19-yard run for his 1st TD of the season (left photo), upping Alabama's lead to 27-17 over West Virginia during 3rd quarter of the season opener in Week 1 at Atlanta. 5 players with dreads took at least one to the house for Alabama in 2013; but only Henry this season, who scored 9 more than the 4 he had last season. Junior Travis Greene rushed for 645 fewer yards in 2014 than in his record-setting sophomore season, but his number of TD scored was the same - 13, the 4th of which was a 5-yard run (right photo) in Bowling Green's 45-42 win over Indiana in Week 3.

Arkansas RB Alex Collins 12
Bethune-Cookman RB Anthony Jordan 12
Towson RB Darius Victor 12

UCLA RB Paul Perkins 11
Western Carolina WR Spearman Robinson 11

Georgia RB Todd Gurley 10
Texas Tech WR Bradley Marquez 10
West Virginia WR Kevin White 10
Junior Todd Gurley prances into the end zone at the end of a 23-yard run for his 1st TD of the season, the first of 4 he had in Georgia's season-opening win over Clemson in Week 1. Gurley went on to up his total to 9 TD in the Bulldogs' first 5 games. That he was able to play only one more game the rest of the season was one of the biggest disappointments of the season for me. What a shame. There's no telling how many more house calls he would have made.


A little earlier I mentioned that 57% of Wisconsin's TD were scored by players with dreads. And that the most house calls by players with dreads in one game were the 6 (all by Dee Hart) in the New Mexico-Colorado State game in Week 13. And also that the team with the most different players with dreads to score a TD this season was Clemson (with 5). Well, that was for Division 1. Actually though, down in Division 2 there's a team that topped all of those numbers. So, because of that, the Virginia Union Panthers, led by a trio of guys from South Florida who were formerly Division 1 players, deserve special mention.

VUU scored 37 touchdowns in 2014, and 23 of them (62.2%) were by players with dreads - 7 different players with dreads, in fact. Leading the way were the 8 TD catches by junior WR Jusse Yorke, who technically never was a Division 1 player but who certainly has D-1 talent. Former Toledo RB Cassious McDowell and former FAMU WR Lenworth Lennon scored 5 TD each. RB Jerome Robinson had 2 rushing TD; FB Rashaun Smith ran for a TD on his only carry of the season; DB Donovan Stephenson scored his only TD on a recovery of a blocked punt in the end zone; and CB Stephan Robinson scooped up a blocked FG attempt and ran it back 75 yards to the house for his only TD. The most important and probably most spectacular of the 23 was Yorke's 2nd TD reception of the game at Johnson C. Smith in Week 5.

After signing with but not playing for Western Michigan in 2011, Yorke, from Ft. Lauderdale, played in junior college the next two seasons before transferring to ODU in the spring of 2014, which is when I first heard of him. It was a big disappointment to learn he later was dismissed from the team (violation of team rules) after he had impressed during spring practice. He then transferred to VUU and joined forces with his brother - Lennon - who transferred from FAMU.
With :01 on the clock and the Panthers down 26-21 and 37 yards away from the end zone Yorke ran a go route up the left sideline and made a one-handed catch for the TD. The photo was taken a split second too early (btw, Lennon is #3), but you can see the catch in this video:
Wow! Before going any further, I have to say I hope the defensive coordinator for J.C. Smith got fired immediately after the game. I mean, on a play where all they had to do was not give up a TD, he rushes 6 men, leaving the other 5 to cover VUU's 5 receivers one-on-one? What was he thinking? And what was that corner thinking? His only job on the play is to not get beat deep, and yet Yorke still runs right past him. Wow.

As for the game with the most TD by players with dreads ..... two weeks after the victory over Johnson C. Smith the Panthers hosted Lincoln on homecoming and won 78-13. 7 of their school record 11 TD were by players with dreads, including 2 by Yorke and 4 by McDowell, who rushed for 174 yards on 9 carries. You can see McDowell's 67-yard TD as well as Smith's TD in this brief video report of the game: 
Yes, it's great to see that Cassious, who you might remember was a HS teammate of Denard Robinson at Deerfield Beach, FL, still has those very long dreads that earned him a spot on my dread all-America team a couple of times while he was at Toledo. You probably also noticed (in both videos) that VUU's quarterback has sick dreads too. That would be junior Kenneth Graham (photo above, from Week 5), who threw 10 TD passes this season but didn't score any TD. After leading the 4th quarter comeback at Johnson C. Smith, Graham moved into the starting lineup, and the Panthers scored 31, 78, and 40 points in their next 3 games (their three highest scores of the season) to improve their record to 6-1. But then he was injured in the 1st quarter of the Week 9 game against Bowie State, and VUU was held to a total of 6 TD in their final 3 games of the season, two of which were defeats. If there continues to be a scarcity of good QBs with dreads in Division 1, I might keep Graham in mind when it comes times to choosing my all-America with dreads team next season.


Senior RB Shaquille Murray-Lawrence scores (barely) on a 3-yard run up the middle, increasing UNLV's lead to 10-0 over Fresno State early in 2nd quarter in Week 7. The Rebels went on to win 30-27 in OT for their first win over Fresno State in 31 years (ending a 10-game losing streak). UNLV was one of the 8 teams that had 9 TD scored by players with dreads (falling just short of my list), and Murray-Lawrence accounted for all 9 .....

..... Marshall was another of the teams with 9 TD by players with dreads .....Akron CB Kris Givens makes the tackle after a catch by freshman WR Angelo Jean-Louis, but it doesn't do any good when the catch is made in the end zone. This 24-yard TD upped Marshall's lead to 17-0 late in 1st quarter in Week 4, and the Herd went on to win 48-17. Jean-Louis had only 21 receptions in 2014, but 6 of them went for TD.

Star senior LB Isiah Corbett takes an INT return 44 yards to the house for the 1st TD of the afternoon, upping Southeastern Louisiana's lead to 13-0 over Northwestern State early in 3rd quarter in Week 6. The Lions went on to win 30-22. In last season's house calls post I mentioned that I expected Southeastern Louisiana to make the list again this season; but despite Corbett's TD, only 9 of the Lions' 66 TD were by players with dreads.

After intercepting a deflected pass in the backfield at the 6-yard line, star senior DE Bud Dupree has an easy jog to the house to give Kentucky the lead for good with 2:29 remaining in the game vs. South Carolina in Week 6. The Gamecocks led 38-24 early in the 4th, but UK scored 3 TD in a span of 5:37, capped by Dupree's 1st career TD, which was Kentucky's first pick 6 in 5 years:

Kentucky's starting defense included 6 players with dreads this season, and in addition to Dupree three others made house calls, including one each in the Wildcats' first and last games of the season. Junior LB Khalid Henderson finishes off an 89-yard fumble return for a TD (photo above and first link below) to increase the Wildcats' lead to 52-0 in their Week 1 blowout of Tennessee-Martin 59-14. Junior CB Fred Tiller easily avoids being tackled by Louisville QB Kyle Bolin at the 7-yard line (photo on right) and finishes off a 40-yard pick 6 for his 1st career TD (second link below), giving the Wildcats a short-lived 20-14 lead late in 2nd quarter in Week 14. In a game in which the lead changed hands 7 times, Kentucky lost 44-40 to finish at 5-7 and bowl ineligible. 

Central Arkansas slaughtered Houston Baptist 70-0 in Week 7 (it seemed like everybody in the SLC slaughtered Houston Baptist this season), but only one of their 10 TD was by a player with dreads - this 23-yard interception return to the house by junior LB Ricky Wyatt, which made the score 35-0 early in the 2nd quarter. FYI: Just so that you're not confused, UCA's field has purple and gray turf, and the end zones are black.

And now ... a couple of players with the sickest dreads that made house calls .....

Indiana reserve freshman RB Devine Redding carried 29 times this season, and this one was the only one he took to the house - a 3-yard run with 33 seconds remaining in the game in Week 6 for the final points of the Hoosiers' 49-24 victory over North Texas. With star RB Tevin Coleman and his 270 carries moving on to the NFL, hopefully Redding will have the chance to make many more house calls this fall.

Virginia sophomore WR Kyle Dockins dives across the goal for his 1st career TD - an 11-yard reception with 1:48 remaining in the game at BYU in Week 4. Kyle got up and tried to tell the BYU fans to shut up, but an official came over and told him to cut it out before I throw a flag. The TD brought Virginia to within 41-33, but the Cavaliers never got the ball back, and BYU held on. Dockins hasn't done much so far other than have great dreads (8 catches in 2013, 5 catches in 2014); but we can always hope he gets better, right?

Junior RB Brandon Williams takes it 10 yards to the house for his 1st TD of the season, upping Texas A&M's lead to 31-0 over SMU with 9:26 remaining in 2nd quarter at Dallas in Week 4. It was the first of 3 TD for Williams this season. Sadly though, this is a sight we will not be seeing anymore during his senior season in 2015. That is, Williams may still be making some house calls next season, but whether he scores 1 TD or 21, he'll be doing it without dreads.

Washington LB/RB Shaq Thompson takes it 57 yards to the house on his 3rd carry of the season, giving the Huskies a 21-0 lead over Eastern Washington midway through 1st quarter of their home opener in Week 2. Thompson also had 14 tackles in the game, which UW won 59-52. A lot of players scored more than the 6 TD Shaq scored in 2014, but nobody else had the variety of TD he did. For the season Thompson had 456 yards and 2 TD rushing (on 7.5 yards per carry), took 3 fumble returns to the house (covering a combined 184 yards), and had a 36-yard pick 6. His bio on the UW website covers all of his accomplishments from his remarkable junior season (first link below). And you can click on the second link for the video that includes all 6 of his TD.

After a season like that, it was no surprise that he declared for the NFL draft. Good luck on Sundays, Shaq; but if you're going to play for the Panthers, you are now the enemy as far as I'm concerned.


I'm still hoping to do some stuff on college basketball this summer; but next up, with NFL training camps beginning soon, we're going to take a look at the 2015 class of rookies with dreads, which I better get posted before they start getting cut.

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